19
March
2020
|
02:54 AM
America/New_York

Donating Blood is Safe and It’s Needed Now

Blood supplies across the region and country have reached critical levels. Today, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, addressed the nation and strongly encouraged people to donate blood due to critically low supplies. To respond to this vital need, LVHN and Miller-Keystone Blood Center are partnering to help replenish regional blood supplies.

Why are blood supplies at a critical level?

Blood supplies are perishable and have a very short shelf life. Since the COVID-19 crisis began a few weeks ago, our nation’s blood supply has seen the cancellation of more than 4,000 blood drives, resulting in the loss of more than 130,000 life-saving blood donations. Regionally, Miller-Keystone has had more than 65 blood drives cancelled, resulting in the loss of nearly 1,800 life-saving blood donations.

How can I help?

In times of crisis, we all pull together to help our friends, families and communities. How often we hear, “I wish there was something I can do to help.” Well, there is. Give blood. Encourage others to give blood. It takes less than one hour of your time, and your one donation can save three lives.

Is going to a blood center or blood drive safe?

All Miller-Keystone’s Blood Center equipment is decontaminated between uses, and everything that touches blood is sterile and disposable including blood bags, needles and test tubes. All signature pads, tables and tablets are sanitized/disinfected between use. Blood Center staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE) according to regulatory requirements (including gloves and face shields). All volunteers wear gloves in the canteen area. In addition, only well people can give blood. The risk of exposure at a blood drive or donor center is exceedingly low.

Who should not donate at this time?

  • Donors who do not feel well should reschedule their appointment.

  • Donors who have traveled to areas of major outbreaks such as mainland China, Korea, Italy and Iran should postpone blood donation for 28 days from departure.

  • Donors who have been exposed to a person having a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection should postpone donation for 28 days.

  • Donors who have recovered from COVID-19 should postpone their donation for 28 days from the end of symptoms.

On Wednesday, LVH–Muhlenberg President Bob Begliomini visited Miller-Keystone’s Bethlehem Blood Donor Center. Let’s follow his example and answer the call for help.

Here are several opportunities to give blood:

Friday, March 27, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. LVH–Muhlenberg 2545 Schoenersville Rd., Bethlehem Coach will be parked outside the main entrance.

Thursday, April 16, 12-6 p.m. LVH–Hazleton 700 E. Broad St., Hazleton Coach will be parked behind the Business and Education Center.

Visit Giveapint.org to find a Miller-Keystone Blood Center near you.

Please help to save lives by giving blood through this difficult time.